By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
CSCOPE, the Texas State Board of Education Implementation of the Common Core Standard is an example of good intentions wreaked by a controlling, and secretive bureaucracy. The Report Card has been reporting on the controversial role of the Common Core Standard at the state level. How does the Common Core Standard turn into a Texas curriculum where students are forced to wear burquas, and are taught that the Boston Tea Party were terrorists. The Common Core Standard was supposed to raise standards for language arts, math and science. But in Texas, somehow the educational bureaucracy twisted it into a monstrosity called CSCOPE. This new public school curriculum has been criticized for secrecy (there are criminal penalties for releasing information about it); for teaching politically correct nonsense (Boston Tea Party were terrorists); and forcing female students to don burquas. CSCOPE is so out of control that State Sen. Dan Patrick, (R) Houston, held hearings to reform CSOPE.
John Griffing of WND describes some of CSOPE’s worst shortcomings.
There’s a new controversy in Texas involving the online public school curriculum called CSCOPE, which already has been the subject of heated debate and state legislative hearings.
There are reports now that students were made to wear Muslim burqas as part of their public school lessons.
CSCOPE has been facing criticism over its alleged Islamic and anti-American bias. It is a “curriculum management system” now used in 80 percent of Texas classrooms – and recently was the subject of a heated inquiry that culminated in hearings conducted by the Texas Senate Education Committee chaired by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.
According to a joint press release by Sen. Patrick, State Board of Education Chairperson Barbara Cargill and CSCOPE representatives, CSCOPE ultimately agreed to “significant changes,” but it is unclear when these changes will take place, and whether or not the pledged cooperation is legally binding or simply to mollify critics.
WND contacted Sen. Patrick’s office but has been unable to obtain documentation confirming whether CSCOPE compliance is required or optional.
He did release a statement: “Be assured we are working on this issue as is the SBOE almost every day. The hearing was step one, the letter step two. The only thing that is binding from a legislative standpoint is legislation. We are working on those issues based on what we are discovering now. We are doing our job, one that must be thorough and will take time.”
CSCOPE has come under fire for controversial curriculum content, including accusations of multiple lessons showing a pro-Islamic agenda. CSCOPE representatives had claimed that such content had been “taken out of context” or that they were “old lessons that have since been taken down.”
CSCOPE proponents have denied the existence of such lessons, or, when faced with documentation, have dismissed critics’ claims as exaggerations.
However, in Lumberton, Texas, this week, high school girls were made to wear burqas as part of a CSCOPE study of Islam.
One student quoted the teacher as saying, “We are going to work to change your perception of Islam.”
The teacher in the burqa lesson, according to a student, also said, “I do not necessarily agree with this, but I am supposed to teach you that we are not to call these people terrorists anymore, but freedom fighters.”
At the end of class, the students were assigned to write a paper about Egypt. According to one student, they were instructed to discuss “how Egypt was a good country until democracy took over, and that things were finally corrected when the Muslim brotherhood came into power.”
To get a better understand of the situation, WND reached out to Mary Bowen. Bowen is a teacher of more than 30 years with a masters degree in curriculum who recently testified during the Senate Education Committee hearing about CSCOPE’s academic deficiencies and its politically driven nature.
In response to the picture and the companion lesson, Bowen said the following, “As for these smiling children, [pictured above] I wonder if they have been taught that the women they are representing cannot drive, cannot be schooled, that they do not have legal birth records and if they are accused of rape/sexual impropriety their father can legally take them out on the patio and kill them like a dog without legal penalty …I just wonder if they are being taught the real story behind the burqa.”
CSCOPE has been heavily criticized by parents and teachers for other controversial content. One lesson from a CSCOPE social studies unit teaches students that communism is the highest attainable economic system, and is the most fair, and that capitalism is merely an evolutionary step on the ladder. The lesson calls “Communism” a system where “all people work together for everyone,” and shows a man climbing stairs towards a communist pinnacle. Capitalism is defined as a system where “all people strive to fulfill their own needs and wants,” and is at the bottom of the included handout.
Clearly the approach to Common Core at the state level needs to be more transparent, and perhaps the architects of the Common Core Standard need to devise ways to make it idiot proof if such a thing is possible.